Chelsea will welcome Qarabag FK at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday in the first match of group stage of UEFA Champions League. Chelsea is placed with AS Roma, Atletico Madrid and Qarabag FK in the Group C in Champions League. This is apparently an easy test for Chelsea against Qarabag FK of Azerbaijan. As the group of Chelsea is little bit tricky,they will be determined to get a win against Qarabag FK on the opening day of Champions League and kick off their campaign on a high note.
Chelsea had won Champions League back in 2011-12 season when they pulled off .the victory against a mighty Bayern Munich side. Since then they had not been able to win the biggest competetition of Europe again. They had reached the semifinal of Champions League in 2013-14 and were beaten by Atletico Madrid that season. In the next season they were knocked out of the competetion by PSG in the round of 16. Last season they did not participate in the tournament as they were not able to finish in the top four in Premier League in the 2015-16 season.
Chelsea are in good form in Premier League. In the first match of the League they had lost unexpectedly against Burnley but after that it was smooth run for them in the Premier League as they had won 3 consecutive matches. They are looking very strong as a unit and really promising to do well in the Champions League also.
On the other hand it will be a learning curve for Qarabag FK as it will be an all new experience for them to play in the Champions League. They came in this competetion by defeating Kobenhavn in the qualifying round. In the previous season they were eliminated by Viktoria Plzen in third round of quliification. This team is also coming to play in the Stamford Bridge after 3 consecutive wins in the domestic league of Azerbaijan and they are currently placed at second position in that league.
Team News :
Antonio Conte will try to rotate their first XI in this match as Chelsea will play Arsenal this weekend. The players needs proper rest to be fit for the very crucial London Derby. Conte suggested that there would be changes in the team. About Morata he said that he had played a lot in recent times. So it is very much possible that he will be on bench on Tuesday. He also stated that Drinkwater had been suffering from a sustained calf injury. Hazard also may not start as Conte would not wish to risk his comeback from the injury. Gary Cahill will be back in the squad and will be availlable for selection as he had completed 3 match ban follwing his red card in the first match in the Premier League against Burnley at home. Willy Caballero may also start in place of Thibaut Courtois as Goalkeeper.
Qarabag FK :
Qarabag FK have former Birmingham city midfier Michel in their team and Dino Ndlovu will start as the lone striker.They will probably like to play in 4-1-4-1 formation against Chelsea in this match.
My Predicted Eleven :
Goalkeeper : Caballero
Defenders : Rudiger, Cahill, Azpilicueta.
Midfielders : Zappacosta, Kante, Bakayoko, Alonso
Attackers : Willian, Batshuayi, Pedro.
Qarabag FK :(4-1-4-1)
Goalkeeper : Sehic
Defenders : Medvedev, Rzezniczak, Huseynov, Agolli.
Midfielders : Qarayev, Guerrier, Almeida, Michel, Madatov.
Attackers : Ndlovu.
My Score Prediction :
Chelsea 4-0 Qarabag FK.